Polycarbonate (PC) is chemically speaking a polyester. It possesses a special combination of properties that make it highly versatile: it is highly transparent, has a high heat deflection temperature and impact strength. Its continuous operating temperature lies between –40 and +130 °C, and it can be used for short periods at as high as about +150 °C. However, PC’s abrasion resistance is not great.
- Optical storage media such as Compact Discs (CD), Digital Versatility Discs (DVD) and Blu-ray Discs
- Automotive – Side and hatchback windows as well as roof modules
- Optical components – Lenses and glasses as well as protective sports glasses and visors
- Construction – Panels for the construction sector, roofing for sports stadiums or railway stations as well as glazing for conservatories and glasshouses
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PC/ABS (Polycarbonat / Acrylnitril-Butadien-Styrol)
PC/ABS (Polycarbonate/Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is a blend of PC and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). This combination offers both the uniquely good workability of ABS with the great mechanical properties of PC such as impact strength and heat resistance. It is stable at lower temperatures and possesses a high heat deflection. The major names under which PC/ABS is traded are Pulse®, Bayblend® and Cycoloy®.
- Battery shells
- Instrument panels
- Mechanical and automotive engineering – Dashboard panels, chassis parts, spoilers, armrests, consoles, hub caps
- Electronics – Casings for household appliances and hand tools, TVs, phones and cameras as well as office machines and wristwatch casings
- Sanitary – Shower, bathtub and kitchen fittings when galvanized, pipes, other fittings
- Vacuum cleaner casings, electric toothbrushes, toys (Playmobil and Lego), door handles
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Special plastics that come under the heading of PMMA exhibit medium stability and high rigidity. Their impact strength is six times that of silicate glass. The surfaces are exceptionally hard and can be polished. In other words, they can be highly scratchproof. Moreover, these plastics are highly translucent, absolutely colorless and luminous.
- Optics – Lenses for spectacles and watch glasses, magnifying glasses, lenses, prisms, diffusing discs, light-conducting fibers/threads and elements, optic storage media
- Electronics – Flatscreens, TV safety screens, photovoltaic panel elements, switch parts, scales, lighting covers
- Automotive – Overhead lights in buses, caravan windows, rear lights, rear and indicator light covers, steering wheel surrounds, aircraft glazing
- Construction – Traffic signs, advertising signs, protective glazing for bank cash desks, sports halls and labs; noise protection walls, luminaires and illuminated ceilings, light domes, tubing for milk, beer and fruit juices; washbasins, bathtubs, bathroom fittings, shower cubicles, WCs
- Special uses – Models, liquid level displays, protective glazing for machines, goods automats, measuring devices and drawing utensils, cast resins for molding sensitive display items (biological specimens), dental fillings and prosthetics
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POM is a typical technical Thermoplastic with good mechanical properties and high dimensional stability as well as outstanding gliding and abrasion behavior. As a result, it is a preferred construction material, e.g., for precision parts in precision engineering; in particular there are many applications in the field of snap fasteners. POM Thermoplastics also possess a good resistance to many chemicals.
- Mechanical engineering, automotive – Cogs, micro-gears, switchgears, bearing races; parts of tank caps, fuel pumps and carburetors, loudspeaker grilles (auto); snap and spring elements; parts and casings for water pumps, valves, fittings, screws, nuts, clockwork bearings
- Electronics – Precision parts for phones, radio, TV and audio playback sets, fax machines, copiers
- Packaging – Spray cans, gas lighters, gas cartridges
- Construction and furniture – Fittings, hinges, door and window handles, connectors for garden hosepipes
- Hooks, zip fasteners, ski binding parts, slot-on toothbrushes, toys
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Thanks to its strong mechanical rigidity, polyamides have replaced many metal parts in automotive construction, which is where they are most used. The plastics are largely made into fibers. They are one of the most important types of Thermoplastics. The tough materials are highly stable and rigid, have a high impact strength and low wear-and-tear.
Automotive – Light casings, rigid fuel lines and tanks, accelerator and clutch pedals, shock absorbers, chassis parts
Electronics – Electrical tool casings, casing material for electronic components, filter and pump casings, special seals and drive belts as well as bearings
Precision mechanics – Cogs, rollers, screws and nuts, filter textiles
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ABS is an amorphous, thermoplastic standard plastic with countless favorable mechanical properties. Moreover, it is chemically stable, too. It consists of three components: the monomers acrylonitrile (15 – 35 %), butadiene (5 – 30 %) and styrene (40 – 60 %). The plastic’s properties can be controlled precisely by changing the mixing ratio.
ABS is easy to glue, weld and machine cut. The plastic is ideal as a backing for coatings with polymers or metals (chromed surface of a plastic component). It absorbs little water and has very good mechanical absorption as well as outstanding sound absorption properties.
- Mechanical and automotive – Dashboard panels, chassis parts, spoilers, armrests, consoles, hub caps, boat hulls
- Electronics – Casings for household appliances and hand tools, TVs, phones, deep freeze and refrigerator units, fans, cameras as well as office machines and watch casings
- Sanitary – Galvanized shower, bathtub and kitchen fittings, pipes, fittings
- General: Vacuum cleaner casings, spectacle frames, electric toothbrushes, toys (Playmobil and Lego), door handles
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This material actually celebrated its 75th anniversary back in 2016.
Polyethylene terephthalate became known through beverages bottles. In the early 1970s, PET-bottles started to be used for soft drinks. Unlike glass bottles, PET does not break, weighs less, and is easier to handle. PET fibers are now manufactured from recycled PET bottles. The material meets the stringent legal criteria as a packaging material for food and drinks.
The lion’s share of PET bottles produced in Germany are sent to China after use where they are turned into polyester fibers for fleece materials. In the textile industry, the latter is truly crucial: Several million tons of recycled PET are processed globally each year.
- Bottles – Blown bottles for beverages
- Textiles – Fleece materials, functional sports clothing
- Geotextiles – Civil engineering, water transport, and transportation constructionu
- Media material for photographic films and magnetic tapes, write-on films, adhesive tapes and electrical insulation foils
- Cogs, rollers and furniture fittings and fibers
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